January 23, 2017
Biggety Bat by Ann Ingalls
Biggety Bat: Hot Diggety, It’s Biggety and Biggety Bat: Chow Down, Biggety
by Ann Ingalls
illustrated by Aaron Zenz
If you have a new reader in your home, look for this pair of fun early readers from Missouri author Ann Ingalls. In the first book, readers meet Biggety Bat who is coming out just as the sun goes down.
Biggety is on the lookout for a friend. As he explores the area around the bridge where he roosts, he finds egret, tortoises, beetles, mockingbirds and possum. It is only when Biggety find a family of raccoons that the kits invite him to play.
This is a Level 1 reader meaning that although most of the words are sight words there are also some that your young reader will have to sound out. These include words like tortoise and possum. Fortunately, the illustrations give your new reader the clues that he or she needs to decipher the text.
An author’s note tells about the colony of Mexican free-tailed bats that live under a bridge in Austin, Texas. It also lists the animals found in the book.
In the second book, Biggety is now making his home under a mangrove. Biggety is sniffing out supper but the foods that the other animals eat — shrimp, grass and fish — won’t work for the hungry bat. Finally a cloud of mosquitoes provide him with a meal. But not to worry. This book is also level one and Ingalls calls the mosquitoes bugs, an easy enough word for your new reader to decipher. Once again there is an author’s note that describes the ecosystem of a mangrove swamp.
It can take a while for new readers to build their skills but leveled readers like these can help develop the academic muscles needed to read independently. Ingalls’ Biggety books are light-hearted and fun but also teach new readers about the natural world. Aaron Zenz cartoony illustrations add to the feel. Biggety and his fellow animals are cute and silly so even the crocodile isn’t too scary to distract from new reading skills.
Share these books with your new reader and help them learn what they need to know to read with confidence on their own.